Tag Archives: potatoes

Smashed Potatoes

I never really put much thought into different ways to cook potatoes. You either mash them, hash them, boil them or bake them, right?  I liked this Smashed Potatoes method when I saw it, and thought it would be a fun new way to eat them at home: they are soft in the inside, and because you brush them with oil and leave the skin on, they get a crispy exterior. These are great just with olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt and some pepper, but for a richer flavor you can add sour cream or cottage cheese, with chopped chives or cilantro… Or how does sour cream and bits of crispy bacon sound?

All you need is a baking sheet and a potato masher to do the job of squashing the potatoes once they have boiled to get soft. When at the store, try to pick smaller potatoes so they are easy to press down on. These would make a fantastic side to grilled beef or chicken, so give them a try next time you turn on your griller.

Helga

Smashed Potatoes

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Filet Mignon with Hollandaise Sauce & Bacon Potatoes

I don’t think I need to say much to get you to try this recipe, filet mignon speaks for itself.  This cut of beef is taken from the smaller end of the tenerloin (called the short loin), and it has a tender, melt in your mouth texture.  As if this weren’t tasty enough, I went ahead and made hollandaise sauce for it and paired it with potatoes…and bacon.  I know, it’s too much… But this is a special occasion meal.  Skip the sauce if you’re watching your diet, and pair your beef with some salad instead!

Back to the Hollandaise sauce, this time I made the easy blender version.  I found the recipe on The Joy of Cooking, and I don’t think I’ll make it the old fashioned way again!  (although my arm could use the workout)

Here are a few tips to guarantee success when cooking this delicious cut of beef:

  • When selecting tenderloin or filet mignon slices, choose the lighter colored ones over dark red. This indicates more marbling which makes it more tender.
  • This cut is so tender that it should never be cooked beyond a medium-rare stage. The longer you cook it, the less tender and more dry it becomes.
  • Use a dry, high heat method such as broiling, roasting, pan-frying or grilling for this tender cut.
  • Whole tenderloin is wonderful to stuff or bake en croute (in savory pastry).
  • Cutting into the meat to check doneness lets precious juice escape. Use the touch or finger test method. Press the meat. If it feels soft and mushy and leaves an imprint, it is rare. If it is soft, but slightly resilient, it is medium-rare. The minute it begins to feel firm, it is overdone.
  • Since the beef tenderloin has no surrounding fat tissue, it is often wrapped in a layer of fat (called barding) such as suet or bacon to keep it from drying out. Likewise with filet slices. The barding also adds flavor.
  • Cubed tenderloin is a popular choice for fondue hot-pots and shish-kebabs.
  • To ensure even cooking when roasting the whole tenderloin, the small end should be tucked up and tied or trimmed for other use.

Tips from http://homecooking.about.com

 Helga

Filet Mignon with Hollandaise Sauce

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Cauliflower Hash with Fried Egg

Hi guys, I’m back!  I took a much needed vacation with my hubby and am now ready to tackle the holidays.  I had this post in my drafts folder, which I wanted to share with you before I left… but you know how it is with all the organizing and packing. I made this Cauliflower Hash as a side dish a few weeks ago, and I think it’s an excellent choice for a weekend brunch or to pair with some soup for a cozy dinner.

Hash is essentially a mixture of diced potatoes, vegetables, spices and sometimes meats.  It’s primarily a breakfast food, you can dice up anything you can think of such as a mixture of potatoes and sweet potatoes mixed with some bacon and onions.  This particular version includes cauliflower, which makes it a very tasty way to sneak in some vegetables.  The original recipe has some spinach in there, so feel free to add some after step 4.   Just add it to the pan, and move it around for a few minutes until they it’s wilted.  You can also add some chopped bell pepper, which I think would make an excellent addition.

Helga

Cauliflower Hash with Fried Egg01

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Purple Potato Gratin

On one of my morning speedy runs through the grocery store, I noticed there were a few different fruit and vegetables available… I was so happy!  We usually have the same old stuff… you know, the basic. But this time, I was able to get purple potatoes.  I grabbed a few (I think it’s the first time I am able to contain myself and not buy too much of something) and brought them home not knowing what I was going to do with them.

It just so happens that Edith had also gotten some purple potatoes for herself, also happily browsing through recipes to prepare this new found vegetable among the boxes and baskets of the same boring stuff we usually find at the supermarket.

I know, I know… I shouldn’t complain, we have mangoes, pineapples, papayas, bananas and what have you.  But we don’t have BIG seasonal produce varieties, or 7 kinds of tomatoes you can find at say… Whole Foods.  Sigh.

Now, to get down to the recipes.  I found this great gratin potato recipe, which I adapted by mixing purple potatoes and regular potatoes.  I would recommend that you add bacon.  I din’t have any at home, but the original recipe did call for it.

Edith tried a recipe from Smitten Kitchen, and she sent me the pictures so I could show you guys how they turned out. You can find her recipe here.

Purple Potato Gratin

Purple Potato Gratin

Recipe  adapted from  Eating Out Loud
Servings: 3-4

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons flour
2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 lbs purple potatoes, unpeeled and sliced thinly
1 lb regular potatoes, unpeeled and sliced thinly
1 cup sliced shallots
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt/pepper to taste

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven at 350º
  2. To make the gratin sauce place the butter into a small pan and melt. Add flour and stir to combine, cooking over medium heat for about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and stir until thickened. Stir in cheese, when melted remove from heat. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. In a frying pan, add the olive oil and shallots. Saute until shallots are slightly brown and caramelized. Remove from the pan.
  4. Grease a gratin dish or shallow baking dish. Add half of the sliced potatoes to the dish. Sprinkle the shallots over the potato layer. Add the remaining potato slices to the dish. Pour the gratin sauce over the top of the potatoes, spooning into any visible cracks and crevices. Top with Parmesan cheese. Place into the oven for 40 minutes.

Purple Potato Gratin

Purple Potato Gratin

Purple Potato Gratin

Purple Potato Gratin

Purple Potato Gratin

Purple Potato Gratin

Purple Potato Gratin

Purple Potato Gratin